The Stolen DAO Funds Are On the Move

More than $5m worth of digital currency associated with the attack on The DAO is on the move.

Sep 6, 2016 at 9:31 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 12:28 p.m. UTC

More than $5m worth of digital currency associated with the attack on The DAO is on the move.

Identified via an analysis of the ethereum classic blockchain, the finding comes courtesy of data analyst Bok Khoo. Founder of New Zealand-based Bok Consulting, Khoo's work shows that 3.6m classic ethers were likely moved to a new account earlier this week.

While a seemingly small development, the fund transfer is likely to have a deep relevance for those who have been following the debates in ethereum stemming from The DAO's failure.

After an attack on The DAO successfully moved $60m to an account controlled by an unknown individual or group, an eventual hard fork of the ethereum blockchain returned the hacked funds to the original owners. But, not everyone agreed with the plan.

The decision led to a split of the ethereum community along ideological lines, with ethereum classic continuing to use the network's original record of transactions and balances. In revitalizing the blockchain, the attacker also gained the potential to claim the funds, and they now appear to be seizing the opportunity.

So far, 1,000 classic ethers (worth about $1,500) have been transferred from the new account identified by Khoo to an account associated with the developers of ethereum classic.

Since the funds are now in an account that does not appear to be restricted by The DAO's withdrawal policies, the ether should now be able to be withdrawn.

This means that hacker could ultimately convert his stolen value – assuming someone will make the trade.

Getting out

The development follows Khoo's identification of the new address and his ability to show how those funds originated from another account earlier associated with The DAO.

What happens next is still up in the air.

For instance, there doesn't appear to be any online marketplaces currently accepting ethereum classic in exchange for goods.

One digital currency exchange currently trading classic ethers has already indicated it worked with "law enforcement" before releasing additional funds associated with the attack.

For now, however, it is unclear whether it or another exchange would exchange the funds or whether their current owners may seek to conduct a harder-to-trace in-person trade.

Briefcase full of money via Shutterstock

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